Written by Aleisse Buck
Photographed by Blair Bellaire
When we meet in Books and Beans, Grace Poulton sports one of the green beanies she created for her company, Boxfan Clothing. It makes her vibrant red hair pop with contrast and gives her a relaxed, easy-going vibe. She is nervous for just a moment before she settles into talking about art, newfound smile lighting up the room, her nose ring glinting in the light.
Since she was about four, Grace’s family has lived in Clover, SC, where she and four siblings (her twin included!) fell in love with art. The entire Poulton family is comprised of talented musicians, which strengthened Grace’s creative abilities as she grew up. Her inspiration came from “watching them do their own thing in the world and learning from the mistakes they have made.” Because of her family, she loves to people-watch and incorporate these observations into her work. Grace also dabbled in sports, dance, marching band, and many other hobbies until she “eventually found art and stuck with it.”
After stumbling upon “some cute little canvases” while shopping in Walmart with her mom in high school, Grace has been enamored with painting. Each piece is an attempt to visually convey how she sees the world. Featured in this year’s journal, “Irene” and “Griffin” are depictions of very detailed, very real human beings.
When I ask her why painting interests her, she laughs and says, “I can’t do anything else. . . Its addictive. It’s so much fun watching a blank canvas turn into what looks like a living, breathing form.” She describes her ever-developing painting style as leaning towards photo realism: capturing personality and emotion through endless strokes of the paintbrush, “no matter how slow and painful the process is.”
Her plans for the future include moving to Nashville and working with musicians to develop and animate music videos that embody their style. She also plans to continue with Boxfan Clothing and creating album art. Though she doesn’t know exactly what will happen next, Grace takes opportunities as they come. “I go with the flow.”